Sunday was my birthday. It was very low key. My girls were at the riding stables for the day and I had to get ready for a work trip away. I left at lunchtime Sunday, driving with a colleague the 200 miles ready for a meeting first thing Monday. The weather was hot. The hotel was shitty. It was my birthday.
Any of those things, a birthday, overnight trip away from home, hot weather and a stressful journey to a not so lovely destination, would in themselves be enough to justify an evening of drinking. Having them all combined was triggery to say the least.
Arriving in the pretty grim hotel room, a long way from home, Mr So and our girls, feeling hot and grubby and distinctly unbirthdayish prompted a few tears. I felt thoroughly miserable and fed up with no idea of how I was ever going to get through what I sensed would be a very long night. I felt truly deprived – who doesn’t have a drink on their birthday after all ? When did I ever go away for work and have an alcohol free evening ? – usual practice would be a bottle of supermarket wine in my room probably supplemented by one or two glasses at dinner.
It would have been very easy when my colleague asked what I wanted to drink to reply with my standard “a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc please” (note the emphasis on large there). But I didn’t. I stuck to Diet Coke. I felt depressed and bored and generally miserable but at least I wasn’t drunk. I had a terrible night’s sleep but at least I wasn’t hungover. I had a crappy birthday but not as crap as it would have been if I’d decided to abandon my recovery in favour of a birthday tipple.
I will be going home tomorrow. I can’t wait to see Mr So and my daughters again. I am going to take some time for some belated birthday celebrations. For today here I am at Day 468 – still sober.